Lyell Cresswell was born in Wellington, and since 1985 has been a full-time composer based in Edinburgh. He has received an APRA Silver Scroll for his contribution to New Zealand music, and his works have been recommended by the UNESCO International Rostrum of Composers three times. More recently, Cresswell has been the New Zealand School of Music Composer in Residence. He has been a featured composer at many festivals around the world.
The Blackness of Darkness was commissioned by the New Zealand International Festival of the Arts in 1993 and first performed on the Wellington Town Hall organ by David Titterington. The music is dark and judgmental. "Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever." This, says Jude (v.5) is the doom of false teachers.